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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

GHSA releases worrying pedestrian fatality report

The number of deadly pedestrian accidents around the country increased alarmingly in 2016 according to figures from the Governors Highway Safety Association. A report from the nonprofit organization of state safety offices reveals that 5,997 pedestrians were killed on the nation's roads last year, and many of these accidents took place in New York. The figures mark the continuation of a disturbing trend. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 12 percent from 4,795 to 5,376 between 2006 and 2015, and the 2016 death toll represents an 11 percent year-over-year surge according to the GHSA.

While overall accident fatality figures have been falling due largely to improvements in automobile safety systems, GHSA figures suggest that those who choose to travel on foot are becoming increasingly vulnerable. The major thoroughfares in many metropolitan areas were built decades ago when foot traffic was rare, and pedestrians in cities around the country today are often forced to contend with inadequately maintained sidewalks and poorly designed intersections.

Some car accident injuries aren’t obvious

If you recently experienced a car accident, you may have serious injuries you don't yet know about. In many cases, the pain associated with an injury does not begin appearing until days or even weeks after the accident itself occurs.

If you have not received professional medical care since your accident occurred, don't wait any longer to get examined by a medical professional. Even if you can't yet feel pain, there are some serious injuries that can produce long-term damage to your body or turn fatal.

How virtual second opinions can improve diagnoses

New York patients may be able to get a second medical opinion over the internet if a doctor is struggling to diagnose their illness. Telemedicine is a growing field, and it can allow for virtual consultations as well as for a patient to send information from a monitoring device to their electronic medical records. With a peer-reviewed journal reporting that around 12 million people are misdiagnosed annually, the ability to more easily get a second opinion could be critical in some cases.

Increasingly, employers and insurance companies are offering access to these second diagnoses as a benefit. Generally, this service begins by having a person consult virtually with a primary care physician. This physician also gets any documentation and test results. After writing a case study, the physician forwards the information to two or three specialists. These specialists review the material and prepare recommendations for the patient.

New York woman pleads guilty in fatal drunk driving case

A 43-year-old New York woman faces up to 25 years in prison after entering guilty pleas to a raft of criminal charges connected to an October 2016 drunk driving accident in Westchester County that claimed the life of an elderly couple. The woman is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 1 on three counts of vehicular homicide, two manslaughter counts and an aggravated drunk driving charge.

Media outlets reported in the days following the Oct. 28 motor vehicle accident that the woman spent four hours drinking at a Hartsdale bar and restaurant after dropping her children off at school, and subsequent toxicology tests are said to have revealed her blood alcohol level to be between .25 and .29 percent. These readings are far in excess of the .08 percent legal driving limit in New York.

A device could access drivers' phone usage

New York motorists should be aware that police officers may be given technology that allow them to determine whether or not a driver was using their cellphone illegally at the time of an accident. The technology would allow the officer to plug the device into the cellphone without the owner of the phone having to hand it over.

The number of traffic fatalities in 2016 rose by about 6 percent over the previous year. A significant number of those deaths were attributed to illegally using cellphones while driving. Lawmakers in some states are considering using the technology to hold the distracted driver responsible. As one father discovered, getting phone records to prove that the driver who caused the accident was texting is a difficult and time-consuming process. When the records are available, they do not detect if the driver was using email or was browsing the web.

Can I sue an airline for mistreating my child?

In the last several months, passenger mistreatment has been front and center in the public eye. The incident that galvanized much of the public conversation occurred only weeks ago when United Airlines dragged a doctor off of a plane, ostensibly to make room for crew it wanted to get to another flight. However, there are other recent examples of airline personnel exhibiting surprising disregard for human decency.

Unfortunately, abusive behavior to passengers is not restricted to adults. In some instances, child passengers also suffer from unfair treatment by airline personnel, such as one New York 12-year-old who felt the wrath of a boarding agent after enduring an extremely lengthy delay.

Suing for PTSD

New York residents should know that they may be able to pursue financial compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder injuries that occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by another motorist. However, there is a high bar for recovery, as the mental health injury may not be as readily apparent as other injuries, such as bruises or broken bones.

Individuals who file a lawsuit for a PTSD injury that resulted from a vehicle accident are required to prove that an accurate diagnosis was made by a trained doctor and that the condition is at least partially due to the accident. This will entail having a medical professional testify as a witness.

Safe construction sites are best for workers and contractors

If you work in construction in New York, whether in the city proper, or in one of her bedroom communities, then you probably know someone who has suffered an injury on the job. You do not have to search very long to find many reports of preventable injuries or deaths on construction sites, and the state's Department of Buildings is taking notice.

Just a few weeks ago, a worker fell from only 18 feet and died on a construction site, adding to the growing concern surrounding New York's dangerous construction industry. The man lost his life because of an accident that was "completely preventable," according to the city's Building Commissioner. In the case of the worker who fell to his death, additional tie-offs to the safety harness he was wearing may have saved his life.

2015 truck accident statistics released

Fatal truck accidents were a more common sight around the country in 2015 according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's annual Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report. The agency's figures reveal that 4,050 large commercial vehicles were involved in 3,598 fatal crashes in 2015, many of which took place in New York. This represents an 8 percent increase from the previous year in deadly truck accidents, and an increase was also observed in the number of fatal collisions per 100 million miles traveled by trucks weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds.

While only 1 percent of the 415,000 truck accidents police responded to in 2015 involved one or more fatalities, the FMCSA report reveals that 20 percent of them left 83,000 people injured. Most deadly truck collisions in 2015 involved two or more motor vehicles, but crashes involving pedestrians, non-motorized vehicle occupants or cyclists accounted for 20 percent of the incidents.

Cell phones and defensive driving

New York residents who use their smartphones while behind the wheel of their car may be unable as a result to practice defensive driving. Even a few moments of glancing at a cellphone could interfere with the cognitive complexities and concentration involved in defensive driving.

Concerns about distracted driving are on the rise along with distracted driving itself. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an increase in road fatalities in 2015 and 2016 after several years of decline. Furthermore, the NHTSA also reported that distracted driving was growing faster as a cause of these fatal motor vehicle accidents than drunk driving, drowsy driving, speeding or not wearing a seat belt.

  • $2.05 Million Settlement Mother of Two Struck and Killed by Motorist

    StolzenbergCortelli LLP recently resolved a heart breaking wrongful death action. The mother of two was struck and killed, while she crossed a roadway.

  • $1.1 Million Settlement StolzenbergCortelli LLP Settles Trip Over Nail Case

    Terrence and Howard settled a trip and fall case for $1,100,000. In this case, our client (a resident of Brooklyn) was a cleaning lady who was hired to clean the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal.

  • $750,000 Verdict Jane and John Doe v. Defendant Driver

    The names are redacted for privacy reasons. In this automobile accident case, the female plaintiff was injured and suffered seriously debilitating injuries.

  • $525,000 Settlement Injured When the Trailer upon which He was Standing Collapsed

    Our client was a teamster, working at a concrete plant in Westchester, when he was seriously injured. At the time, he was standing on a trailer, which is colloquially known as a "low boy", when the wooden slats upon which he was standing, collapsed.

  • $457,500 Settlement Car Accident Victim With Pre-Existing Neck Injury

    Settled a client's case for $457,500. The client suffered a significant cervical spine injury requiring a fusion surgery.He was t-boned by a car exiting Purdy's farmer and the Fish in Somers, New York.

  • $450,000 Settlement StolzenbergCortelli LLP Settles Construction Accident Case

    Howard Stolzenberg settled a case for $450,000 where a construction worker was forced to use an exterior fire escape ladder to access the top of the building all while carrying a one gallon bucket of paint. The worker fell and fractured his ankle.

  • $100,000 Settlement Teenager Hit From Behind

    We just settled a case for a young girl who was injured when she was struck from behind while waiting at a red light at an intersection near the entrance to the Saw Mill in Yonkers. She had hip and shoulder surgery.

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